JOFRA ARCHER says he is beginning to feel like a prisoner after spending most of the past four months trapped in a bubble.
The fast bowler, 25, has been bowling brilliantly for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
Archer has taken 17 wickets at 18 runs apiece – but says the restrictions are getting him down.
The England star said: “It will be over soon – you’re just counting the days down until you’re free again.
"I might buy a calendar just to cross off the days so they feel like they’re going faster.”
Of course, being stuck in a luxury hotel in Dubai is not the worst existence.
Nor is being paid megabucks to play for England or the Royals.
But several England players admitted the mental impact of time away from friends and loved ones last summer was tough, although families are permitted in the IPL, which is being staged in the UAE.
England team supremo Ashley Giles spoke again on Wednesday about the need to monitor mental health and in future shorten time in the bio-secure environment.
The Royals’ last group game is on Sunday.
But, if they reach the November 10 final, the likes of Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will have just a handful of days before flying to another bubble in South Africa for six white-ball games.
Archer believes playing every match for England is impossible.
He explained: “It comes down to man-management.
"You can definitely play all three formats but they can’t expect you to play every game.
“I’ve probably done the most bubble days out of anyone.
"From an on-field point of view, but you’re going to need your family with you in a Covid bubble. It helps you stay sane.
“Four or five days in, you start to get a bit of cabin fever. You need your family to take some of that pressure off you.”
*Watch Rajasthan Royals take on Kings XI Punjab in the Dream11 IPL on Sky Sports on Friday at 2pm.
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